Where uncommon is common

By Carol / July 3, 2009 /

My brother-in-law Ken who lives in Anchorage sent this picture yesterday. He goes to a local cafe for coffee with friends in the morning and saw these visitors near his house. Now he doesn’t see moose in the neighborhood every day, but they’re not uncommon either. At least once or twice each winter, he sends pictures of moose hanging out in his own yard, knowing we in the Lower 48 will be enthralled.

What tickled me about this is that I wrote an article about Iowa’s endangered species for the May/June issue of The Iowan and led with the surprising idea of sighting a moose in Iowa. Only on the rarest occasion does anyone see a moose in the wild in Iowa. Personally, I never have.

When my husband and I went to Alaska a couple of years ago, I went walking early one morning. I was looking up at the mountains, scanning for bald eagles and down at the wildflowers lining the sidewalks. Then I looked straight across the street and there was – you guessed it – a moose. My first thought was that it was a statue. My second thought was that was a silly place for a statue. This was a real, live moose having breakfast right in town. I briefly considered sneaking up close for a photo. Fortunately, discretion prevailed. I stayed on my side of the street and kept an eye on places to run in case the moose decided to come see me!

I enjoyed the unexpected excitement of seeing an animal so uncommon to me, happy that the moose is common enough in Alaska that I could see one during a morning walk. One state’s endangered species is another state’s common sight. Such fun.

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